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Use endnotes rather than footnotes for policy papers, research reports, and books. Use 1, 2, 3, not i, ii, iii superscripts to number the notes. The superscript number should appear outside the punctuation mark (full stop, semi-colon, comma, etc.), except when it refers to material in parentheses, in which case it should appear inside the closing bracket. The notes section should go immediately after the end of the main text, before the references or bibliography, but after any appendices. Give URLs wherever possible.

Books, manuals, and campaign reports: For long, complex documents, it may be a good
idea to start by using footnotes, to make reviewing the document easier during the consultation process. They can then be converted to endnotes before the document goes into the production process.

It is not necessary to support every piece of information with a reference. But the following must be supported with full details: sources of all quotations; all facts based on another writers original research; references to particular published documents; the source and evidence for any controversial statements. Use Table 1 to help you supply the relevant details of a publication in the correct style. It describes the standard (UK) English style for referencing the cited source: e.g. a published book; a published journal; a chapter in a book; an article in a journal or newspaper; or an unpublished document. Table 1 illustrates the typographic conventions to use for every kind of source that you might want to cite.

Citation style
If there is time and space, it can be useful to create a bibliography that contains the full details of all the references, and then just refer to the authors name and the year of publication in the endnotes. Otherwise, put all citations in the endnotes. Provide full details for each reference: author(s) or editor(s) (date) title and sub-title, and (for published works) place of publication and name of publisher; or (for unpublished works) place of origin and name of commissioning organisation


There is no need to reverse the order of the authors surname and first name or initial in endnotes, because notes are not presented alphabetically. So Bloggs, W. B. is correct in a list of references or bibliography, but this author should appear as W. B. Bloggs in an endnote reference. To avoid repetition, use the ibid. and op. cit. convention: ibid. (short for ibidem = in the same place) is used to refer to the immediately preceding reference if it is exactly the same source. So Bloggs 2004 may be immediately followed by ibid., or by ibid. p.325. op. cit. (short for opero citato = in the work already cited) is used to refer to a source cited in a recent note (but not the source immediately preceding the present one). So you could write Khan, op. cit.. But if you have cited more than one work by Khan, differentiate it by adding the date: Khan (2001) op. cit..

Other useful abbreviations: edn. (edition), ed. and eds. (edited by), tr. (translator), comp.
(compiler), ad. (adaptor), vol. (volume), rev. (revised), p. or pp. (page or range of pages). If an organization is listed more than once in the bibliography, write out its full name on the first mention, giving initials in parentheses, then use the initials thereafter, e.g: Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) (1995) Book title, Publisher, Place of publication DfEE (1997) Book title, Publisher, Place of publication DfEE (1999) Book title, Publisher, Place of publication

Alternative reference style for books and some research reports

Use the Harvard system for references in long reports and books if you prefer. References are flagged up in parentheses in the text, giving the name of the author(s) or editor(s) and the date of publication, e.g: (Bloggs 2004), (Smith and Jones eds. 1998), (Jones et al. 2008), or as Bloggs (2004) states . Then provide full details (see option 1) in a separate references section (presented alphabetically by surname).

References comprise an alphabetical list (by authors name) of all the documents referred to in the text. A bibliography is a list of recommended or essential reading. It may contain more or fewer works than those cited in the text. It should observe the same typographic conventions as those used in a list of references, as shown in Table 1.


Save the Children UK (2004) Infant Mortality Rates and the Millennium Development Goals: A Missed Opportunity, London: Save the Children UK. J. Yau (2001) Bill of Rights: Human Rights Working Group Report, (last accessed August 2001).

A report or paper distributed online or in print. Title in single inverted commas, with upper-case initial letters. If no author is named, the text should be attributed to the commissioning organisation. (N.B. If the document is in a series with a title, this can be given, e.g. Oxfam International (2007) Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge in Iraq, Briefing Paper 105, Oxford: Oxfam GB.) A text on a website. Inverted commas and upper-case initials for title, followed by the full URL and the date when the website was last checked. The URL has no terminal stop if it comes at the end of a reference. Give the title of the document (not just the URL), in case the link becomes out of date. Note: the authors surname would come first in a list of references or a bibliography, e.g. Yau, J. A website. Give the basic URL only, unless referring to specific content as above. An online resource. Could be part of a website, portal, or a sub-site. Title, followed by URL. A published book. Title and subtitle in italics, with upper case initial letters. Place of publication precedes name of publisher. A published book by multiple authors. Note: in a Bibliography, the first named authors initial goes after their surname, e.g. Teke, G., M. Khan, and B. Wiseman The first of two works by the same author, published in the same year. The other work by the same author, published in the same year. A book by two authors, the first of whom has already featured in the list. Multi-authored works should always follow single-authored works, even if published earlier. Note: in a list of references or a bibliography, reverse the order of only the first named author and their initial, e.g. Palmer, R. and I. Birch An article in a newspaper (online or print). Title of article in single inverted commas with lower-case initial letters; title of newspaper in italics. Unattributed articles are listed under their title: Educating Indias untouchables, (2008) the Guardian, 2 January. The World Banks Resources on Social Safety Nets S. Holden (2004) AIDS on the Agenda: Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in Development and Humanitarian Programmes, Oxford: Oxfam GB. G. Teke, M. Khan, and B. Wiseman (1998) Labelling in Development Policy, London: Sage. R. Palmer (1997a) Contested Lands in Eastern and Southern Africa, Oxford: Oxfam GB. R. Palmer (1997b) Contested Lands in North and West Africa, Oxford: Oxfam GB. R. Palmer and I. Birch (1992) Zimbabwe: A Land Divided, Oxford: Oxfam GB.

T. Parfitt (2008) Opposition claims Georgia president rigged election victory, the Guardian, 7 January.

Oxfam International (2009) A third of Afghans at risk of hunger shows need for urgent aid reforms, Oxfam International, 19 August 2009, essrelease/ (last accessed 19 August 2009). A. Tomlin (1996) Refugees labelling and access, in Teke et al. (eds.) (1998).

A press release (online or in print). Title in single inverted commas with lower case initial letters; name of organisation or source, followed by the date of the release.

L. Woldu (1996) Changing attitudes towards violence against women, in N. Moore (ed.) Learning About Sexuality, New York: Population Council. M. Shafique (1999) Oral rehydration therapy in rural Egypt, Studies in Family Planning 34(3): 31527.

B. Yeats (2002) The Nature of the Refugee Problem, paper presented at a conference on the International Protection of Refugees, Montreal, Canada, 2326 April 2002. D.P. Zelenker (2001) Correspondence with author.

A chapter in an edited collection, cited separately in the list. Title of chapter in single inverted commas with lowercase initial letters; title of book is not repeated, but identified by the name(s) of the editor(s) and date of publication. Note that et al. should be set in italics, with a full stop after al (because it is short for et alia = and others). A chapter in an edited collection not cited separately in the list. Title of chapter in single inverted commas with lower-case initial letters; title of book in italics, with upper-case initial letters. An article in a journal. Title of article in single inverted commas with lowercase initial letters; title of journal in italics with upper-case initial letters. No comma between name of journal and number of volume. Volume number followed by issue number in parentheses, without a space. Issue number followed by page numbers, preceded by a colon and a space. Elide page numbers, (31527, not 315327), unless doing so would cause confusion. An unpublished paper given at a conference or workshop. Title in single inverted commas, with uppercase initial letters.

A private communication. (Note: no space between initials; this applies in every case.)

Oxfam GB November 2012 This guideline has been prepared by Oxfam GB's Policy and Practice Communications Team for use by staff, partners, and other development practitioners and researchers. The text may be used free of charge for the purposes of education and research, provided that the source is acknowledged in full. The copyright holder requests that all such use be registered with them for impact assessment purposes. For copying in any other circumstances, or for re-use in other publications, or for translation or adaptation, permission must be secured and a fee may be charged. E-mail Oxfam welcomes comments and feedback on its Research Guidelines. If you would would like to discuss any aspect of this document, please contact For further information on Oxfams research and publications, please visit The information in this publication is correct at the time of going to press. Published by Oxfam GB under ISBN 978-1-78077-220-2 in November 2012. Oxfam GB, Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2JY, UK. Oxfam is a registered charity in England and Wales (no 202918) and Scotland (SC039042). Oxfam GB is a member of Oxfam International.